Khwaja Lassa Sahib

Khwaja Lassa Sahib

"Hindus Saw Omkar Swaroop in Him"

In the first part of this century, it was a common sight for the people of Kashmir to see a Muslim Saint roaming on the streets of Srinagar, with a loose long gown (PHIRAN) hanging down his shoulders. This was Khwaja Lassa Sahib of Nowhatta, Srinagar. He used to carry a Kangri (Kashmiri firepot) with live charcoal on his left shoulder, held in place by his arched hand. This shoulder was sporting a big scar caused by the firepot but he was utterly indifferent to it. He spent his time in his own house and fed people yellow colored rice, green Qahwa (Kashmiri Tea without milk or ' Sheer Chai' (Tea with milk and salt). He would sometimes be seen in grave yards or other places of wilderness or on occasions visit people's houses asking for tea or a rice meal.

He had tremendous spiritual power and this is characteristic example of that. Lassa Sahib would usually pick up some loaves of bread from a bakery on his own. On one occasion, when he began to collect a couple of loaves from a Bakery owned by some Ramzana near Nowhatta, the owner resisted him. This defiance enraged Lassa Sahib who thundered thus - "Sit down Ramzana, sleep down Ramzana and Die Ramzana''. The surprised owner who was out to manhandle him, sat down, fell off to sleep and died. The owner's wife who had always welcomed the Saint in the shop tried hard to locate the Saint and seek pardon for her husband but the Saint was not to be found and the body was buried.

After the year 1931, when political disturbances rocked Kashmir, the Saint was seen sitting on shops slowly preparing skins out of big mix of yarn which would take a long time to clear. This was interpreted to mean that Kashmir situation symbolized mixed up yarn which was in turmoil and he was patiently processing it to restore normalcy. That was what exactly happened.

On another occasion another great Saint Swami Sona Kak Ji gave a rupee to one Shri Nand Lal Gorkha to purchase Charas for him. While Nand Lal was returning from the shop, Charas in hand, he encountered Lassa Sahib who snatched it away. Shri Nand Lal was nonplused, fearing trouble from Swami Sona Kak. However he purchased a new lot for one rupee. As soon as he reached the house Swami Sona Kak came out to receive him and embraced him saying how Lassa Sahib who is an ''Omkar Swarup'' Saint had accepted it. He blessed Nandlal for being instrumental in giving Charas meant for him to Lassa Sahib. This was a high stage of his evolution.

One renowned Unani Physician of Kashmir Shri Sahaj Bhat, who was a philosopher and a saintly person was one day going along a street to treat a patient near Nowhatta adjacent to the hillock of Sharika Bhagawati. An idea crossed his mind that Sharika Bhagawati was not as great as Sri Raginya Bhagawati of Tulamula, who was his titular deity. He was immersed in this thought when he encountered Lassa Sahib, who picked up a stone and facing the Hakim said "they are all equal, neither of them is higher or lower". The Hakim Sahib found the answer and realized his mistake. Lassa Kak threw away the stone and went his way.

He gave up his mortal coil in 1348 (Hijri) when he was about 75 years old.

Swami Sona Kak in his earlier years used sometimes to go to see him and hold secret meetings with him. When the news of Lassa Kak's passing away reached Swami Sona Kak, he tore off his clothes as a token of high reverence and expression of grief over his parting and exclaimed that "Badshah had passed away". He did not take his usual rice meal for six months after Lassa Sahib's departure but subsisted on milk, tea and fruits.

Lassa Sahib was the son of one Sudra Bhat of Nowhatta Srinagar who had renounced the world.

Source: Koshur Samachar

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